As developers look for ways to simplify how they create software, serverless solutions, which enable them to write code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure required to run their applications, is becoming increasingly popular. DigitalOcean announced today that it is enhancing its existing offering in this area with the acquisition of serverless startup Nimbella. The companies did not share the terms of the deal.
With Nimbella, the company is getting a platform for building serverless applications that is built on the open source container orchestration platform Kubernetes and Apache OpenWhisk, which is itself an open source serverless development platform.
DigitalOcean CEO Yancey Spruill, who took over two years ago, refers to Nimbella's capabilities as "Function as a Service," with the goal being to simplify serverless development in an open source context for its target customers. "Serverless kinds of capabilities are taking a whole level of the infrastructure burden away from developers and businesses and we absorb that. We'll allow our customers to have more configurability around the tools, which just removes burdens for them and allows them to go faster," he said.
In practical terms, Nimbella CEO Anshu Agarwal says that means they are providing a specific set of tools to build sophisticated serverless applications and connect to other DigitalOcean services. "The capabilities that we will be adding to DigitalOcean portfolio are a fast solution, a function as a service solution that also integrates with the underlying DigitalOcean services [like] managed databases, storage and other services that make it make it easier for a developer to develop full applications, not just addressing events, but doing things which are completely stateless," Agarwal explained.
Spruill said that this wasn't the company's first foray into serverless. That began last year when it offered its initial serverless tooling, but it wanted to build on its current offering, and Nimbella fit the bill.
DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service provider, aiming at individual developers, startups and SMBs. While DigitalOcean's $318 million 2020 revenue was a fraction of the $129 billion cloud market, it is proof that there is still money to be made even with a small slice of that market.
The companies did not discuss the terms of the deal, the number of employees involved or even the title that Agarwal would have when the deal closed, but the plan is to fully integrate Nimbella into the DigitalOcean portfolio and eventually make it a DigitalOcean-branded product some time in the first half of next year.
Update: There will be 12 employees moving from Nimbella to DigitalOcean.